Lewis, Pollard star but Gayle fails to spark

DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – West Indies stroke-makers Evin Lewis and Kieron Pollard slammed half-centuries as Dhaka Dynamites crushed Darren Sammy’s Rajshahi Kings, but superstar Chris Gayle flattered to deceive, in his first outing in the Bangladesh Premier League here Saturday.

Playing at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dynamites came away with a 68-run win in the opening game with the left-handed Lewis top-scoring with 64 at the top of the order and fellow Trinidadian Pollard arriving late on to belt an unbeaten 52.

In the second match of the doubleheader, Gayle sparkled but only briefly with 17 as Rangpur Riders sent down by 14 runs to Marlon Samuels’s Comilla Victorians.

The victory for Dynamites took them one point clear at the top of the standings nine points, with Victorians in second.

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Sent in, Dynamites got away to a flier courtesy of Lewis who blasted 10 fours and a six in an entertaining 38-ball knock.

He put on 53 off 25 balls for the first wicket with Pakistani Shahid Afridi (15) before he was eventually third out at the half-way stage of the innings with the score on 99, holing out to deep mid-wicket off seamer Hossain Ali.

His dismissal was one of three for the addition of 25 runs as Dynamites slumped to 124 for five in the 14th over but Pollard stepped up to rescue the leaders with a typically robust innings.

He crunched five fours and three sixes off a mere 25 deliveries, adding 62 for the sixth wicket with Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara whose 28 came from 25 balls.

Chris Gayle

In reply, Kings were tottering on 11 for two in the third over before Zakir Hasan (36) and Mominul Haque (16) combined in a 49-run, third wicket stand to steady the innings.

Once they were separated, however, Kings never regained their momentum and Sammy’s 19 from 15 balls proved inadequate.

Samuels then played a key role in the feature game as Victorians won for the fourth time in five games to maintain pressure on the leaders.

Sent in, Victorians rallied to 153 for six off their 20 overs with Imrul Kayes top-scoring with 47 from 32 balls and Samuels chipping in with 41 from 34 deliveries, including four fours and a six.

In response, the left-handed Gayle hammered three fours in a 13-ball knock as he put on 31 for the first wicket with New Zealand star Brendon McCullum (13).

However, Gayle mis-read a change ball from Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and was lbw in the fifth over, triggering a slide which saw Riders lose four wickets for one run to slip to 32 for four.

England’s Ravi Bopara revived the run chase with a run-a-ball 48, posting 67 for the fifth wicket with Mohammad Mithun who made 31, but the target was always out of their reach.

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